Great value resorts & chalets in large ski areas

We’ve all heard of the largest ski domains in Europe, the Three Valleys and Espace Killy. More often than not we at the Luxury Chalet Book are asked for luxury chalets in the main well known resorts such as Val d’Isere, Courchevel 1850 and Méribel. Of course with good reason, these are all fabulous well-known and convenient resorts providing unforgettable ski chalet holiday experiences. But could you be missing out on a real gem by not considering the less well known resorts in these ski areas? 

I thought I’d take a look at the alternative options in these large ski domains to see what alternatives there are to discover:

When it comes to the Three Valleys many of my clients will ask me for a luxury chalet in the main resorts of Courchevel but of course these come with a price tag, both on and off the piste. Move a few minutes down the hill and you’ll reach the charming resort of Courchevel Le Praz, at 1300m.

The resort itself oozes chocolate box charm with traditional chalet style buildings and narrow streets. There are several bars and restaurants in the village that range from British owned après ski venues with weekly entertainment to local French bars, wine caves and even a Michelin stared restaurant. Those that have been visiting here for years tend to favour a drink in the village square at the Les Peupliers where you can while away your time watching everyone ski back into the village. Personally I enjoy the Cave de Lys wine bar with its old cellar feel, superb wine list and scrumptious charcuterie plates and tapas snacks great for sharing with friends after a full day on the slopes.

Access to the full Three Valley ski area couldn’t be easier with two ski lifts whisking you up the mountain to access the extensive ski domain all within just ten minutes. One of the ski lifts, an enclosed gondola also takes you directly to Courchevel 1850, for those who need their boutique shopping fix! From here the world or at least the Three Valleys are your oyster. Skiing back to the village requires skiing a red piste or for the more experienced skier the Jockeys black run is a fabulous testing end to the day. For beginners there is an efficient free resort ski bus or of course you can always down-lift in the gondola.

Yes the resort height of 1300m is lower than the other Courchevel resorts and during late season of course it isn’t as snow sure as above, but should the worst case scenario prevail and the lower slopes suffer then as long as you’re prepared to down-lift or take a bus then you’ll be amazed at the incredible luxury ski chalets available with endless facilities yet great value.

Lets take a look at two magnificent chalets on offer in Courchevel Le Praz that provide just that:

Chalet Le Loup Blanc with a starting price of £8,720 per week for up to 11 people on a catered chalet basis, this exceptional chalet really has it all. A sophisticated chalet located at the bottom of the Brigues piste. It is a ski in ski out catered chalet and boasts extensive facilities including a steam room, cinema room, fireplace, terraces and a swimming pool. This chalet is very popular and sells up quick but it’s still available for Easter holidays at a jaw-dropping price of £12,500.

Just recently back on the rental market is Chalet Igloo a wonderful, stylish property sleeping up to 8 people in 4 en-suite bedrooms. The chalet is ski-in and again comes with an abundance of facilities including hot tub, sauna, swimming pool, a squash court and panoramic views. For a catered week in this chalet prices start from just £5,800 per week and due to its recent release it is still available for Christmas for a phenomenal £9,950.

Staying in the Three Valleys we understand that particularly during the late season our clients are looking for snow sure, high resorts still able to provide amazing conditions during April. In which case I will get asked for Val Thorens. It certainly ticks all of the boxes for spring skiing and though there is only one luxury chalets available in Europe’s highest ski resort, it is certainly a memorable one! The mightily impressive Chalet La Datcha, with ski in ski out location and more facilities than a small city, along with world-class cuisine, is the place to stay. Prices start at €58,000, but the property does sleep 15, so plenty of room for friends and family.

However just a short ski down the mountain will take you to the beautiful and traditional St Martin de Belleville,an attractive village full of rustic charm. This small resort was still a farming village until as recently as the 1980’s. However, after some investment and development, this beautiful picturesque village of narrow streets all centred on an imposing church tower, offers direct links into the world’s largest ski area. St Martin remains idyllic, and with quick links over to the ski slopes of Meribel and Les Menuires, as well as to Val Thorens at the head of the valley.

The village has a few bars and several restaurants offering everything from traditional Savoyard fayre to pizzas and pasta. Just a stone’s throw away in St Marcel you can indulge in pure decadence at restaurant La Bouitte, a three Michelin stared restaurant and the first of such in the Savoie region. I had the pleasure of experiencing the delights of this restaurants for a special occasion and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It does indeed come with a hefty price tag but it was possibly one of the most remarkable dining experiences I have ever enjoyed. The atmosphere is surprisingly relaxed and not at all stuffy for a restaurant at the top of the restaurant tree.

There is an abundance of good value chalets on offer in St Martin de Belleville and the nearby village of La Villarabout, we especially love Chamois Lodge with its breathtaking mountain views. This stylish and modern chalet retains a cosy chalet feel. Finished in wood and stone with luxurious fabrics, it’s easy to see why our guests love this property. The chalet has a fabulous terrace with stunning views and an outdoor hot tub from where to enjoy a glass of champagne whilst soaking ski weary limbs. With exceptional service levels, mouth-watering culinary delights and efficient driver service, this chalet really is a great base from which to enjoy the extent of the Three Valley ski domain. Prices start from £6,570 for 6 adults and 3 children on catered chalet basis.

Le Chalet located in the village of St Martin de Belleville is a spectacular affordable option sleeping 10 people in 5 en-suite bedrooms. Located just 200m from the ski lifts this chalet has striking mountain views and extensive facilities including a sauna, steam room, cinema room and swimming pool. Prices start from €1,270 per person on a catered board. Bed and breakfast is also an option on request.

Moving away from the three valleys to the Espace Killy another fabulous world famous ski resort with 300km of slopes and endless off-piste to explore. This area is of of course very popular particularly during early and late season due to its resort height and 2 glaciers. Many clients come to me for properties in Val d’Isere but due to the excellent snow record property price are at a premium all season. Do not despair as we have a fabulous, little know alternative that’s quickly becoming a worthy contender for your consideration.

Tignes les Brevières, sits at an altitude of 1550m just below the imposing Tignes Dam. It is at first glance a little out of the way and its location can initially put people off booking a ski holiday here……. but should it? Absolutely not and here’s why.

The village of Tignes Les Brevieres is the most authentic mountain village of all the Tignes resorts. Though it does not provide fabulous shopping or many off slope diversions, its authentic and charming atmosphere along with cosy Savoyard restaurants and a couple of English run bars means there is still plenty to enjoy. We love après in the lively Boot Room and for the chefs night off dinner in the traditional and cosy restaurant L’Armilly is a popular choice. The village is developing and growing at a steady pace and it’s definitely one to get to before the news gets out and prices rise.

Access to the Espace Killy couldn’t be easier via the village gondola and thereafter a chair lift taking about 15 minutes to reach Tignes Le Lac and a further ski lift (Toviere) will get you to the slopes of Val d’Isere. Skiing home you have a choice of either a blue or red run and they both remain in great condition until the lifts close around May 1st.

There is a beginner area in the village and the international Ski school Evolution2 can provide ski lessons for beginners there and if due to demand the lessons have to be in Tignes le lac Evolution2 provide an excellent mini bus pick up service taking your children from the chalet to their lessons. When the sun is shining the terrace at restaurant La Bouida provides an excellent viewing spot from where to watch the children skiing.

In the last 4 years the resort has seen a great deal of development when it comes to Luxury ski properties and there is more to come.

The most luxurious property and a firm favourite of mine has to be Chalet Quezac. This is an exceptional property owned and privately run by Guerlain Chicherit, 4-time freeride ski champion and rally driver. Chalet Quezac was his original chalet and it holds a special place in my heart as I used to operate the chalet with Guerlain and we went on to win the Worlds Best New Ski Chalet 2014. Funky, quirky, unique are all words to associate with this outstanding property. Bright colours, unusual art, a motorbike and a giant penguin all make up this unconventional chalet. The chalet sleeps up to 16 people and has a myriad facilities and entertaining space. The chalet boasts a large outdoor hot tub, sauna, gym, pool table, table football, wine cellar and outstanding panoramic views overlooking the village. We love the secret children playroom where children can escape to a place their parents can’t. Prices start from just €20,000 fully catered, that’s just €1,250 per person.

A more affordable option in the village and another property belonging to Guerlain Chicherit is the brand new Chalet Babylon. Modelled on its big brother, Quezac, this chalet also comes with funky art and centrepiece motorbike. The large open plan lounge and entertaining area has a convivial atmosphere, whilst the bar area lends itself to many a night of drinking wine and telling tales of the days skiing. The chalet has a spacious feel and comes with private outdoor hot tub, sauna, steam room and massage room with hydro jet bed. As if that wasn’t enough the chalet has access to a communal spa area including large swimming pool, a large outdoor hot tub and a further sauna and steam room. With chalet prices starting from €10,000 for a 7 night catered stay you certainly get a lot of wow for your money with this chalet.

If you haven’t already booked your next luxury chalet ski holiday then please do not hesitate to contact me, Nicola, Sales Manager for Luxury Chalet Book. I can be contacted on [email protected] or 00 44 207 117 2085.

 

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Tags: Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1850, Courchevel Le Praz, France, Méribel, St Martin de Belleville, Tignes, Val d'Isère, Val Thorens

Categories: Courchevel, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1850, Courchevel Le Praz, Espace Killy, Méribel, St Martin de Belleville, Tignes, Val d'Isère, Val Thorens

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